The state attorney general candidates, Democrat Josh Kaul and Republican Eric Toney, sparred over DOJ vacancies, abortion and the state’s elections in their first joint appearance ahead of the Nov. 8 election on WISN’s “UpFront,” which is produced in partnership with

“I’m challenging our attorney general — release the organizational charts for DCI, redacted without names, to see how many positions there are, how many vacancies there are,” Toney said. “You’ve refused to address that issue.”

Following a open records request earlier this month, the DOJ reported 10 percent of its special agent positions are currently vacant, along with 13 percent of the slots for criminal prosecutors.

“That data is accurate,” Kaul said. “Mr. Toney has seen that, so what he’s been saying for this debate is a lie.”

Kaul is challenging the state’s 1849 abortion ban in court and accused Toney of being “eager” to enforce it.

“What you basically heard from Mr. Toney is he will be using DOJ resources, which go to investigating and prosecuting the most serious crimes, to go after people for abortions, including for rape and incest,” Kaul said.

Toney dismissed the accusation.

“We enforce the rule of law,” Toney said. “What I’ve said repeatedly, we have great district attorneys and prosecutors across Wisconsin, and we use our discretion, and we take things on a case-by-case basis.”

Both candidates were asked what they see as the role of the attorney general in future elections after the 2020 election prompted accusations of fraud by former President Donald Trump and investigations in states like Wisconsin.

“He supported Michael Gableman’s waste of over $1 million of taxpayer money,” Kaul said, referring to Toney. “He just appeared with him at a fundraiser. He said that our election commissioners committed crimes and should be removed from office, so he’s been fanning the flame of the ‘big lie.’ That is the last thing we need from our state’s top law enforcement officer.”

Toney quickly fired back.

“I’m curious where our attorney general has been, if he’s paid attention,” Toney said. “I’ve been the most vocal Republican statewide candidate opposed to decertification, saying there was no widespread voter fraud that would overturn the results of the election here in Wisconsin.”

See more from the show:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email